Addiction is An Illness With Bite. To Recover, We Need Healthcare That is More Than Skin Deep. Dental care is an overlooked but critical recovery service. Sustained recovery can erase track marks, jaundice, and abscesses. Teeth, however, don’t rebound easily from regular exposure to substances like alcohol or heroin. Oral health may be the key to help people with substance use disorder reenter society. But many …
Claire Foster Blog
  As a child, I didn’t quite understand addiction. I didn’t understand what it meant to have an “alcoholic” parent, even though I had one. I would see my dad stumbling around, hear my parents arguing, or witness tears streaming down my dad’s face, but I didn’t understand what was going on. As I aged, I began to piece things together and eventually began to wrap my mind around the term “alcoholic”.
In a powerful, moving episode of her show Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith interviewed her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris about her 20-year heroin addiction. Special guest August Alsina, and Will Smith’s youngest sister, Ashley Marie also joined Jada. The guests shared candidly about how they have faced addiction and how their illness affected their loved ones. The stigma of addiction …
Claire Foster Blog
Neural plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to rebound from trauma, illness, or other damage, is key for people seeking sustained recovery from substance use disorder. A new study in the journal Cell Reports shows that psychedelic drugs as diverse as LSD, ecstasy, psilocybin, and ketamine all encourage brain cells to create new connections (neurites). According to the Los Angeles Times …
Claire Foster Blog

Stop Relapse By Changing Your Memory?

Substance use disorder is a chronic, relapsing mental illness. Relapse is very common in addiction treatment, with relapse rates being between 40 and 60 percent, according to NIDA. This rate is very similar to rates of relapse with other chronic diseases like hypertension, asthma, or type I diabetes. However, new research shows that it may be possible to avoid relapses with a treatment …
Claire Foster Blog
Many healthcare providers and substance use treatment facilities treat substance use disorder as an isolated issue. However, as clinical manager Brittany McCrady, MSW points out in her recent op-ed, “substance use and mental health issues are intertwined.” A personalized path to recovery allows people to get help for more than one issue, which can be critical to sustaining recovery. Substance use …
Claire Foster Blog

A Daily Fight

The summer of 2016, I was been substance-free for six years. I was married to my best friend for also six years that March. He was incarcerated all of our marriage being out only long enough for me to get pregnant with our son, and at this time I already had our daughter who was three. This is a summer I will never forget. I received the phone call my …
I am a woman who does not look like what she has been through. I have yet to meet someone who has gone through what I have. I’ve always believed that “broken crayons still color”. I turned my tumultuous past into a great testimony! I became heavily addicted to prescription painkillers in 2002 after a knee surgery before …
San Francisco is making plans to open safe injection sites for people with substance use disorder. The city has increased its harm reduction and outreach efforts, in an attempt to help people who are at risk for overdose. “If we’re going to save people’s lives, we can’t wait for [people with substance use disorder] to come to us. We have to go to them and engage. And …
Claire Foster Blog

A Voice of Recovery

My substance use started in the 7th grade with marijuana and alcohol and quickly progressed to opiates by the 8th grade. At that point in my life substances gave me courage and what I thought was “swagger” or some sense of being cool. When I got into high school it no longer gave me that cool feeling because I was in the midst of full-blown addiction. I was being suspended from school, getting …